Browsed by
Category: Classroom Tools

Financial Projection Simulator [ExEC Online: Express Pack]

Financial Projection Simulator [ExEC Online: Express Pack]

To help with the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve fast-tracked the development of new online-ready exercises – which you can use individually or as a set – called the ExEC Online: Express pack, available free through June.

Our second lesson, Financial Projection Simulator (FPS), is ready for you to use!

Making Finance Fun

Even in the best of times, students struggle to engage with and understand the financial elements of entrepreneurship. Of course, this topic is critically important, especially during times of economic uncertainty like we’re facing now.

To help make entrepreneurial finance more accessible to all students, we designed our Financial Projection Simulator to teach financial modeling, with a fun, game-like experience.

Encourage Experimentation

The Financial Projection Simulator leads students through an experimentation process where they make different assumptions about their financial model, including their:

  • Product price
  • Cost of Customer Acquisition
  • Employee salaries (including benefits & taxes)
  • Initial capital investments
  • Etc.

And as they enter their assumptions, the simulator automatically calculates the financial sustainability of their business, giving students a Red, Yellow or Green assessment:

teaching finance in entrepreneurship

This question-based approach forces students to think through the major elements of a financial model in an approachable way. Plus, the real-time feedback encourages students to get creative, iterating their business model until they find one that’s profitable.

Engage Your Students

Like all of our lessons, the Financial Projection Simulator uses several resources to create an experiential, interactive experience for students online, including:

  • Step-by-step videos for students
  • Overview videos for you, like this:


When combined, these tools create an engaging experience for your students (even when they’re learning about finance ;).

Get the Financial Projection Simulator

Get All Four Free Lessons

The ExEC Online: Express Pack is a collection of free, interactive, online entrepreneurship lessons available through the rest of this term that you can easily plug into your class individually or as a set.

In addition to Financial Projection Simulator, we’re releasing three other exercises that are not only engaging, but particularly relevant in this time of uncertainty:

  1. Problem-Inspired Idea Generation: We know customers don’t buy products, they buy solutions to problems – and right now people’s problems have changed dramatically. This exercise will show your students a systematic way to identify new opportunities inspired by their customer’s real-world problems that is particularly helpful during times of disruption like we’re experiencing right now.
  2. How to Interview Customers: Now that business model assumptions have been flipped on their head, it’s more critical than ever that students learn how to effectively talk to customers to discover what problems they’re facing. A person with the skills to learn about how this new world will effect people individually, is a person that will thrive during this, and any future dramatic changes. This lesson will help students understand how to find customers to talk to, what questions to ask, and most importantly, why asking them will form the basis of a successful business model.
  3. 60 Minute MVP: The key to thriving in the face of high uncertainty and limited resources is efficient experimentation. This exercise will show your students how to quickly launch a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to measure demand for their products/services. Plus, even outside the entrepreneurial context, in a future where online, remote-enabled work will likely be in demand, this is a great opportunity for students to learn how to build websites and create animated videos.

We’ll be making each lesson plan available as soon as it’s finished, so if you’re interested in using any of the exercises from the ExEC Online: Express Pack, please fill out the form below.

Due to the accelerated pace we’re releasing these lessons, the first iteration of the ExEC Online: Express Pack is designed for use in colleges/universities in the US and Canada. Future iterations will be accessible to students across a wider range of environments.

Regardless of who or where you teach, we welcome you to request access and we’ll notify you if, and as soon as, we’re able to bring your students on board!

Get All the ExEC Online: Express Pack Lesson Plans (Free)

Know an Entrepreneurship Instructor?

If you know anyone who these new lessons might help, please invite them to participate! You can:

Thank you for all the work you’re doing teaching, and supporting, young people during this challenging time – we’re grateful to have an opportunity to support you, and look forward to helping you however we can!


Join 8,000+ instructors and get new lesson plans via email!

Problem-Inspired Idea Generation [ExEC Online: Express Pack]

Problem-Inspired Idea Generation [ExEC Online: Express Pack]

To help with the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve fast-tracked the development of new online-ready exercises – which you can use individually or as a set – called the ExEC Online: Express pack, available free through June.

Our first lesson, Problem-Inspired Idea Generation, is ready for you to use!

Idea Generation is a Skill

Customers don’t buy products, they buy solutions to problems – and during this crisis, people’s problems have changed dramatically. This exercise will show your students a repeatable way to generate business ideas, inspired by their customer’s problems, that will become the foundation for opportunity identification skills they can use throughout their careers.

3 Steps to Better Ideas

Problem-Inspired Idea Generation creates an experience where students:

  1. Learn why great business ideas come from problems.
  2. Brainstorm people they’re passionate about solving problems for.
  3. Hypothesize, and prioritize, those peoples’ problems.

Those hypothesized problems kickstart your students’ customer discovery and/or solution ideation processes, resulting in more meaningful, and more feasible business ideas.

Engage Your Students

Our goal is to create highly interactive, experiential exercises. You can review this lesson to see how it can help you engage your students online with tools like:

  • Interactive Digital Worksheets your students can fill out and turn into you online
  • Video overviews for students
  • Sample slides for you to use with any live, or recorded, videos overviews you’d like to (optionally) produce for you students
  • Assessment recommendations

Get the ExEC Online: Express Pack

Get All Four Free Lessons

The ExEC Online: Express Pack is a collection of free, interactive, online entrepreneurship lessons available through the rest of this term that you can easily plug into your class individually or as a set.

In addition to Problem-Inspired Idea Generation, we’re releasing three other exercises that are not only engaging, but particularly relevant in this time of uncertainty:

  1. How to Interview Customers: Now that business model assumptions have been flipped on their head, it’s more critical than ever that students learn how to effectively talk to customers to discover what problems they’re facing. A person with the skills to learn about how this new world will effect people individually, is a person that will thrive during this, and any future dramatic changes. This lesson will help students understand how to find customers to talk to, what questions to ask, and most importantly, why asking them will form the basis of a successful business model.
  2. Financial Projection Simulator: With a global recession looming, it’s essential our students understand the elements of a robust financial model, and how to develop a sustainable one. This exercise makes finance approachable by turning what would normally be an overwhelming series of numbers, into a game-like experience that enables students to experiment with many different financial models.
  3. 60 Minute MVP: The key to thriving in the face of high uncertainty and limited resources is efficient experimentation. This exercise will show your students how to quickly launch a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to measure demand for their products/services. Plus, even outside the entrepreneurial context, in a future where online, remote-enabled work will likely be in demand, this is a great opportunity for students to learn how to build websites and create animated videos.

We’ll be making each lesson plan available as soon as it’s finished, so if you’re interested in using any of the exercises from the ExEC Online: Express Pack, please fill out the form below.

Due to the accelerated pace we’re releasing these lessons, the first iteration will be designed for use in colleges/universities in the US and Canada. Future iterations will be accessible to students across a wider range of environments.

Regardless of who or where you teach, we welcome you to request access and we’ll notify you if, and as soon as, we’re able to bring your students on board!

Get All the ExEC Online: Express Pack Lesson Plans (Free)

Know an Entrepreneurship Instructor?

If you know anyone who these new lessons might be help, we welcome you to invite them to participate. You can:

Thank you for all the work you’re doing teaching, and supporting, young people during this challenging time – we’re grateful to have an opportunity to support you, and look forward to helping you however we can!


Join 8,000+ instructors and get new lesson plans via email!

Free Online Entrepreneurship Lesson Plans

Free Online Entrepreneurship Lesson Plans

We know the transition to teaching online can be overwhelming. We want to help.

We’ve fast-tracked a subset of the ExEC Online exercises you’ll be able to use free through June 2020!

The ExEC Online: Express Pack will be a collection of free, interactive, online entrepreneurship lessons available through the rest of this term that you can easily plug into your class.

We’re specifically releasing exercises that are not only engaging, but particularly relevant in this time of dramatic uncertainty:

  1. Problem-Inspired Idea Generation: We know customers don’t buy products, they buy solutions to problems – and right now people’s problems have changed dramatically. This exercise will show your students a systematic way to identify new opportunities inspired by their customer’s real-world problems that is particularly helpful during times of disruption like we’re experiencing right now.
  2. How to Interview Customers: Now that business model assumptions have been flipped on their head, it’s more critical than ever that students learn how to effectively talk to customers to discover what problems they’re facing. A person with the skills to learn about how this new world will effect people individually, is a person that will thrive during this, and any future dramatic changes. This lesson will help students understand how to find customers to talk to, what questions to ask, and most importantly, why asking them will form the basis of a successful business model.
  3. Financial Projection Simulator: With a global recession looming, it’s essential our students understand the elements of a robust financial model, and how to develop a sustainable one. This exercise makes finance approachable by turning what would normally be an overwhelming series of numbers, into a game-like experience that enables students to experiment with many different financial models.
  4. 60 Minute MVP: The key to thriving in the face of high uncertainty and limited resources is efficient experimentation. This exercise will show your students how to quickly launch a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to measure demand for their products/services. Plus, even outside the entrepreneurial context, in a future where online, remote-enabled work will likely be in demand, this is a great opportunity for students to learn how to build websites and create animated videos.

We’ll be making each lesson plan available as soon as it’s finished. If you’re interested in using any of the exercises from the ExEC Online: Express Pack, please fill out the form below.

Due to the accelerated pace we’re releasing these lessons, the first iteration will be designed for use in colleges/universities in the US and Canada. Future iterations will be accessible to students across a wider range of environments.

Regardless of who or where you teach, we welcome you to request access and we’ll notify you if, and as soon as, we’re able to bring your students on board!

Get the ExEC Online: Express Pack

Know a Teacher?

If you know anyone who these new lessons might be help, we welcome you to invite them to participate. You can:

Thank you for all the work you’re doing teaching, and supporting, young people during this challenging time – we’re grateful to have an opportunity to support you, and look forward to helping you however we can!


Join 8,000+ instructors and get new lesson plans via email!

Tech Tools to Increase Engagement

Tech Tools to Increase Engagement

It’s no question: technology is shaping how or students engage (or don’t) with us.

From the apps nagging our students for attention during class to the learning management systems (Blackboard, Moodle, Canvas, etc.) we and our students are asked to wrestle with, technology is absolutely altering how we interact with our students.

That said, when leveraged the right way,

Technology can be a way to increase engagement in the classroom.

In this post, we share some of our favorite tech tools you can use to flip the script on technology and use it to re-engage your students.

Active Learning vs Passive Listening

The first thing to know is that lectures are the antithesis of engagement. If your class is full of:

  • Glazed eyes
  • Distracted fidgeting
  • Lethargic discussions

Remember that it’s not that disengaged students don’t like to learn, the truth is most students love learning. They just hate listening.

Ask yourself, what do Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Netflix all have in common? They are all visual-based technologies that our students have grown up with and spend far more time “learning from” than they do lectures.

Now ask yourself, are your bullet points genuinely more compelling than their latest Instagram story?

If the answer is no, the next question to answer is:

How do you create an active learning experience for your students?

If you’re looking to shift from a “sage on the stage” class to an active learning environment, Kahoot! is a great tool to use.

How to Leverage Kahoot! In Your Entrepreneurship Lesson

Gamification is a great way to increase engagement in class. Using technology like Kahoot! you can create multiple-choice competitions that foster engagement or as an assessment tool. 

Here’s what we love about Kahoot! in the classroom:

  • Produces real-time competition 
  • Encourages instant collaboration
  • Boosts energy with a real-time leader board that students love seeing their names on
  • Inspires discussion among all students

Kahoot! works by showing students a series of multiple-choice questions on your projector and each student (or team of students) uses their smartphone to quickly answer each question. Teams are awarded points for correct answers, and the faster they answer, the more points they get and after each question, they can see how well their team is doing compared to other teams in the class.

If you want to easily try Kahoot!, we’ve actually integrated it into our free Customer Interviewing Cards Exercise. This lesson plan was presented at USASBE 2020 and teaches valuable customer discovery skills.

Give it a shot and you’ll not only teach your students what questions to ask (and questions avoid) during customer interviews, you’ll do it in an engaging way with full class participation.

Nothing Compares to Learning by Doing

Another way to engage students is to have them teach themselves by creating a “learn by doing” experience. For example, if you want to teach students about the power of Minimum Viable Products (MVPs), why not use Wix and Powtoon to have your students create their own during class?

Wix: Launch Websites (No Student Experience Required)

Wix is a free and user-friendly website creator. Some of the features we’ve found helpful when using in our lesson plans include:

  • Drag and drop editing
  • Pre-built templates
  • No technical skills required

Powtoon: Your Students Can Create Explainer Videos

Powtoon is an incredibly useful tool to make simple explainer videos fast. Here are some of the features that make Powtoon a useful teaching tool:

  • Wide-variety of templates
  • Change elements with a simple click
  • Animate a video in minutes

While you can plan an entrepreneurial lesson using Wix and Powtoon, we’ve found they can be combined for a powerful lesson. You can try our 60-Minute MVP this semester to introduce your students to Wix and Powtoon so they can see how quickly and easily they can start testing demand for new products, even if they have no tech or video editing skills.

This lesson plan was a finalist in the USASBE 3E competition, and it’s one of the most popular on our site. We hope you give it a shot – not only will it use technology to teach your students new skills, they’ll be completely engaged while they do it.

Design an App Prototype Without Technical Skills

So many of our students want to build apps, but most of them will lack the technical skills to even prototype their apps. Marvel changes that. 

Marvel is an easy to use app that lets your students quickly prototype their app designs by first drawing them on paper, and then simply taking pictures of their designs with their phone, but that’s not all!

Here are some of the exciting features you can leverage in the classroom:

  • Design easily with Marvel’s UI builder
  • Perform usability testing with a simple link
  • Get customer/usability feedback immediately

Marvel is free to use and is perfect to encourage design thinking and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs. We created our Marvel App Lesson Plan below to introduce you to this new entrepreneurial teaching tool.

 

Click Here for Our Marvel App Lesson Plan

 

 

 

It’s free for any/all entrepreneurship teachers, so you’re welcome to share it.

 

 

 

Incorporate Technology in Your Entrepreneurship Class

When used well, technology can transform your classroom into an experiential, fully-engaged experience for your students. If you’d like to learn more about the technologies we use in our entrepreneurship lesson plans, click to learn more. We hope that it supports the work you do in the classroom, and if you and your students enjoy, check out the full Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum (ExEC).

Entrepreneurship Lesson Plans

If you’d like more lesson plans like this, subscribe here to get the next one in your inbox.

Join 8,000+ instructors and get new lesson plans via email!

Creating Rigorous But Accessible Entrepreneurship Lesson Plans

Creating Rigorous But Accessible Entrepreneurship Lesson Plans

Whether teaching Intro to Entrepreneurship at a community college, or Tech Entrepreneurship at Stanford, we know…

Experiential exercises are the key to engaging students.
teaching entrepreneurship stanford

In our continuing collaboration with Rebeca Hwang from Stanford, who introduced us to her Wish Game, we were excited by her invitation to share two of our lesson plans with her students.

Teaching at Stanford

Knowing that experiences are both the best to teach skills, we decided to introduce students to the difference between Inventors and Entrepreneurs with our award-winning Lottery Ticket Dilemma lesson plan. With our second lesson, we shifted our focus to customer interviews. We wanted students to walk away with a clear understanding of what questions they should, and more importantly, what questions they shouldn’t ask, during customer interviews.

Inventors Vs. Entrepreneurs

We chose to present this exercise because it creates a fun, experiential way for students to conceptualize customer behavior. They can also identify business opportunities, by demonstrating it’s not actually customer problems that drive behavior, but customer emotions. 

entrepreneurship lesson plans online

After this game-based activity, students understand why some products are successful even if they don’t solve an obvious problem. This inspires them to identify non-problem based opportunities to leverage. 

Customer Interviewing: Learning the Basics Through Gamification

We followed with another fun and interactive exercise designed to improve your students’ interviewing skills in just one lesson. During this class, students will identify what their problem interviewing goals should be and should not be. Those goals will point them to what questions they should and should not ask during customer interviews.

entrepreneurial lesson plans online

After the card game, we provided an interview script template to the students. They can use this script as the basis for any problem discovery interview they conduct. This robust script will increase the quality of their interviews, and their confidence in conducting them. 

Students Love Engaging Entrepreneurship Classes

After our two lesson plans were concluded, one thing was very clear: students love to be engaged in the classroom. Here is a snapshot of some of our feedback:

entrepreneurship lesson plans
entrepreneurship lesson plan

We were delighted to get this real-time feedback from Stanford students. We believe in practicing what we preach and the opportunity to teach at Stanford allowed us to perform our own customer discovery interviews. The overall response was two-fold. The students:

  • Loved how engaging the lessons were
  • Appreciated learning a new, practical skill

Rigorous and Accessible Entrepreneurship Curriculum

But what excites us most about the work we do at TeachingEntrepreneurship.org is that these same exercises are accessible and loved by a wide range of students and university professors like. You can find our curriculum in:

college entrepreneurship lessons

Don’t Take Our Word for it

teaching entrepreneurship lessons

No Matter Where You’re Teaching

Our goal continues to be to move the art and science of teaching entrepreneurship forward. Customer Interviewing Cards and the Inventors vs. Entrepreneurs presentation are just a few the experiential exercises we’ve created. If you’d like to see how the Inventor vs. Entrepreneur lesson can work in your classroom, click to learn more. We hope you give them a shot, and if you, and your students enjoy, check out the full Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum (ExEC).

 

Click Here for Our Stanford Presentation

 

 

 

It’s free for any/all entrepreneurship teachers, so you’re welcome to share it.

 

 

Entrepreneurship Lesson Plans

Think, Pair, Share: More Engaging Class Discussions

Think, Pair, Share: More Engaging Class Discussions

Does getting your students to participate in class discussions feel like pulling teeth? Have you ever struggled leading a class discussion?

entrepreneurship lesson plans

We’ve discussed before how to inspire the entrepreneurial mindset in your students but most of us struggle with engaging all of their students, especially during in-class discussions.

Some students are naturally involved in classroom discussions, while for others, the call for participation can lead to dropped gazes, hunched postures, and impenetrable silence. Why?

Students don’t feel safe.

We’ve all been in group situations where we’ve been called to participate and we are reluctant to share. Think about the last conference you attended, where the presenter asked for volunteers. Or the last meeting you attended where you were asked to share your thoughts.

Just like us, our students sometimes don’t feel confident that what they have to share will benefit the class or worry about how they will be perceived. When that happens, the glassy stares and stony faces of our students can leave us feeling frustrated and disheartened. Not only that, but without a game plan, a few disengaged students can hinder the engagement for our entire classroom.

With the Think, Pair, Share process, we’ll show you how to bypass what stops your students from participating and deepen their commitment to showing up 100% in your course. Specifically, we’ll help you flip the script on how you facilitate discussions, so students feel confident and safe participating in your discussion. This results in a livelier classroom. 

entrepreneurial lesson plans

3 Steps to Lively Class Discussions

An engaged discussion with your students starts with you as the instructor and how well you prepare to promote the exchange of diverse ideas. Imagine you want to have a discussion where students come up with a business to start on campus or to discuss last night’s reading.

If you start off your discussion with a generic question about the main takeaway from the reading, you’ll likely have your usual suspects raise their hands to share their thoughts. The rest of your class may keep their heads down hoping you won’t call on them. Instead of just jumping into a group discussion, try this 3-step process and see how it improves the engagement of your entire class.

Step 1: Think

Rather than announcing that you’d like your class to discuss a topic, you’ll start by telling your students you’d like them to reflect on what they read last night. For example, ask them to come up with 1-2 takeaways from last night’s reading and write them down. Tell them you will give them 1-2 minutes to think about this.

Tell the students they are going to have a specified amount of time to reflect on the topic for discussion and encourage them to write down their thoughts. 

It’s important to keep this reflection time quiet and discourage any conversation so each student has a chance to reflect on their own.

Step 2: Pair

Once you’ve given the students adequate time to reflect and organize their thoughts on the topic, connect them with a partner give them 2-3 minutes each to share their thoughts. 

The Pair step is fundamental to the process’ success because:

  1. Sharing with a partner is less intimidating than speaking in front of the entire class.
  2. It gives the students practice putting their ideas into words and clarify their thoughts.
  3. It gives the students validation as they discover what they have to say is well-received and makes sense to someone else.
  4. (BONUS) As soon as you’ve created your pairs, you’ll notice that your entire class is instantly engaged.
Make sure the students understand how much time each of them will have to share their ideas and remind them to switch roles halfway through.

Step 3: Share

Now that your students have finished with their partner, it’s time for the main event. In this step, you’ll find that your students feel safer participating with the entire class because they’ve practiced sharing their thoughts which were validated by their partner. In addition to sharing their own ideas, they may be inspired to share their partner’s thoughts.

Invite the students to share their thoughts on the subject with the entire class. There are a few sharing options that you can utilize, depending on what feels right for you and the energy of your class:

  • Ask them to raise their hands to share their thoughts
  • Invite them to spontaneously shout out their thoughts, sometimes with leading questions (à la popcorn style)
  • Use technology like a mindmapping tool to organize their different ideas
A sharing option for one class may not work for another. It’s important to practice different sharing options to find what will work best for a specific class.

Key Takeaways

Because students are given space to ease into discussions with this process, you’ll find that the majority of your students will begin to participate easily and quickly.

Through these steps, students will gain clarity and confidence in expressing their ideas on any given topic. Use this technique not just for discussion-leading, but for:

  • Coming up with business ideas
  • Brainstorming solutions for problems
  • Discussing why some solutions fail and some don’t
Anytime you want your students to share thoughts, use Think, Pair, Share to boost student engagement. 

This will also help them prepare for speaking and presenting beyond the classroom and into a workplace setting. 

As the instructor, you’ll get more engaged students and lively classroom discussions.

Get the “Think, Pair, Share” Worksheet

We’ve created a detailed “Think, Pair, Share” worksheet. This exercise walks you through the process of facilitating a successful group discussion step-by-step and gives you the tools to assess and evaluate what works well for any particular class.

Get the Worksheet

 

It’s free for any/all entrepreneurship teachers, so you’re welcome to share it.

We’ve incorporated Think, Pair, Share into several of the exercises that are in our fully experiential curriculum. If you’d like to see how Think, Pair, Share is leveraged in a structured lesson, click to learn more.

Entrepreneurship Lesson Plans

    2019’s Most Popular Lesson Plans

    2019’s Most Popular Lesson Plans

    “This approach to learning is just what students need.” – Eric Liguori, Rowan University

    From enabling students to discover ideas that are meaningful to them to improving customer interviews, we design lesson plans to enhance engagement and improve skill-building. The following are our 5 most popular lesson plans from 2019 to transform your students’ experience as they practice generating ideas, interviewing customers, identifying early adopters, and validating assumptions.

    5. Increase the Quality of Your Student’s Ideas

    One of the biggest challenges entrepreneurship professors tell us is inspiring students to come up with ideas that are impactful or solution-centered. 

    How do you get your students to focus on problems, not products?

    So often, students are attracted to low-impact products without a clear idea of who their customer is, much less why they would want to buy into the idea. We want them to understand that customers don’t buy products, they buy solutions to their problems.

    Student Idea Generation Lesson

    The Student Idea Generation lesson plan sparks your student’s idea generation so they can identify what problems they want to solve. 

    Rather than leading a brainstorming session in which students develop business ideas on their own (which can result in unactionable ideas), the Student Idea Generation lesson plan:

    • Instructs students how to pinpoint the customers they’re passionate about helping
    • Leads the students to identify the biggest challenges or problems they want to solve for these groups

    In this lesson plan, students first discover the customers they are passionate about helping and the problems/emotions they want to help them with. Students then determine solutions they can use to create a successful business.

    After this lesson, your students’ ideas will be:

    • More focused because they’ve identified the specific group they want to help
    • More practical because they’ll be solution-focused
    • More innovative because they’re inspired to solve problems

    View Idea Generation Lesson Plan

    4. Transform Your Student’s Customer Interviews

    Nothing can make some students more uncomfortable than not knowing what to ask during customer interviews.

    A number of factors make a student wary of conducting customer interviews, including:

    • Talking to strangers gives them anxiety
    • They’re nervous because they’ve never conducted an interview and want to get it right
    • They don’t understand the benefit of interviews in the first place

    Because customer interviewing is so critical to building solutions people want, customer interviews are an integral part of the entrepreneurship curriculum. We designed the Customer Interview lesson plan to eliminate the barriers students have around performing customer interviews.

    This comprehensive lesson plan includes materials to prep before class, and step-by-step instructions for leading the lesson. After the lesson, students will walk away understanding:

    • Their role in the interview
    • What makes a successful interview
    • Preparation for real customer interviews
    • Specific interview questions

    The benefits of this lesson plan are two-fold:

    • Takes the guesswork out of customer interviews for the students 
    • Minimizes preparation for the instructor

    Get the “How to Interview Customers” Lesson Plan

    3. Experiential Exercise for Teaching About Early Adopters

    Another problem professors shared is teaching students how to identify early adopters. Early adopters are vital for the success of any product or service, but students often struggle in understanding the concept of an early adopter.

    Students understand the definition of Early Adopters easier if they’re led through this experiential exercise.
    Identifying Early Adopters Experiential Exercise

    The Finding Early Adopters lesson plan features a mechanical pencil challenge that introduces the concept of an early adopter and contrasts it with early majority and late majority customers. This exercise also demonstrates where and how to find early adopters.

    This exercise was a finalist in the prestigious 2019 USASBE 3E Competition, which recognizes the best experiential entrepreneurship exercises at the USASBE Annual Conference.

    After this lesson plan, students will be able to answer:

    • Who is the target for customer interviews?
    • How and where to find the best prospects for customer interviews?

    View the Finding Early Adopters Lesson Plan

    2. Coaching for Entrepreneurship Students

    While valuable, team projects can be a source of great anxiety for students. Many students working in teams:

    • Worry about their final grade
    • Fall behind with the coursework or understanding of the content
    • Are bored because their team has surpassed other teams’ progress

    Team projects can be problematic for professors to successfully meet students’ diverse needs. The How to Coach Your Students lesson plan provides a differentiated learning experience using individual team coaching sessions that provides a positive and productive team experience for all students.

    Popular Entrepreneurship Lesson Plans
    Individual coaching sessions allow students to quantify the skills they’ve built and identify next steps.

    Similar to a daily stand-up approach to scrum meetings, this lesson walks you step-by-step through a process to perform a Stand-Up Coaching session in 1 of 2 ways and discusses the pros and cons of each technique:

    • Coaching through simulation
    • Private team coaching

    After this lesson, students will:

    • Shift from searching for the right answer to asking the right questions
    • Focus on learning rather than earning a specific grade
    • Feel better equipped to prepare for their final presentation

    View the “Coach Your Students” Lesson Plan

    1. The True Meaning of Minimum Viable Product

    The 60 Minute MVP remains one of our most popular lesson plans. During this hour-long experience, students launch an MVP website, with an animated video and a way to take pre-orders, without any prior coding experience. 

    “One student described it as like a Navy Seal mental training exercise. Not sure it was that intense, but they were amazed and proud that they got it done.” –  ExEC Curriculum Professor
    Minimum Viable Product Experiential Exercise

    This class is the ultimate combination of engagement and skill-building as the students navigate each task. On the lesson plan page, you can view an example of a video students created based on actual customer problems in about 20 minutes.

    After this class, your students will understand:

    • The true meaning of Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
    • It’s easier to launch a product than they assume
    • Launching a product lays the foundation for their entire business

    View 60 Minute MVP Lesson Plan

    Bonus: The Power of Customer Observations

    In addition to teaching customer interviewing techniques, we developed a Teaching Customer Observations lesson plan because it helps solidify the student’s understanding of the importance of understanding their customer’s problems. In this lesson plan, students experience first-hand the value of seeing how their customers experience problems rather than just imagining certain scenarios.

    Customer Observations Lesson Plan

    The goal of this lesson is to teach students to have a clear picture of their customer’s problems before they try to come up with a solution. 

    After this class, students will understand

    • The value of observing customer behavior rather than trying to predict it
    • How to listen with their eyes to improve empathy for what their customers value and care about

    In addition to the positive feedback we’ve received from the community using this exercise,

    this lesson won first place in the Excellence in Entrepreneurial Exercises Awards at the USASBE 2019 Annual Conference!

    View Teaching Customer Observations Lesson Plan

    Want an Experiential + Structured Curriculum?

    If you’re looking for a comprehensive, tested, experiential entrepreneurship curriculum to use next semester, that fully engages your students, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

    Check out the Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum and we’ll get you set up!

    Entrepreneurship Lesson Plans

    Get our Next Free Lesson Plan

    We email new experiential entrepreneurship lesson plans regularly.

    Subscribe here to get our next lesson plan in your inbox!

    Join 8,000+ instructors and get new lesson plans via email!

    Students Don’t See the Value of a Textbook: Dr. Samantha Fairclough

    Students Don’t See the Value of a Textbook: Dr. Samantha Fairclough

      It’s a struggle for every professor to keep their class engaged.

    In an over-stimulated culture, we are at a disadvantage to create an environment where students aren’t constantly looking at their laptops or phones. To keep their eyes up and maintain their interest can sometimes seem like lofty goals.

    Kim Pichot - Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum Professor

    Dr. Samantha Fairclough understands that struggle. As an Assistant Professor of Practice at University of Nebraska-Lincoln & the Associate Director of the UNL Center for Entrepreneurship, she feels personal and professional pressure to make sure she maintains a high level of student engagement.

    As she prepared to teach her Managing Growth and Change class recently, she realized she had to make a change.

      She knew the way she previously taught “isn’t working for me. The students hate it. I hate it. I don’t enjoy the book.”

    Entrepreneurship Alternative to Textbook Learning

    She decided to ditch all textbooks and was searching for readings and articles she could use instead when she found the Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum (ExEC).

    After using the ExEC 60 minute MVP lesson from the TeachingEntrepreneurship.org website in her current creativity class as a pilot for using the entire ExEC curriculum, she was pleased by the great buzz of energy and student engagement. 

      Dr. Fairclough describes being blown away with the kinds of things her students came up with.
    Teaching Entrepreneurship Curriculum

    Fully Adopting the ExEC Entrepreneurship Curriculum 

    From websites to explainer videos, the lesson was such a great moment and garnered such positive results, she decided she was ready to adopt the full ExEC curriculum with her next group of students.

    The timing also seemed right for change because she felt she had the right group of students to try something new. Instead of pushing her class of entrepreneurially minded students into a lecture-based system, Dr. Fairclough fully embraced the ExEC curriculum and found that the tools and techniques worked from day 1.

    Making it Real Lesson Plan

    Using the Making it Real lesson plan, Samantha got the students together in the downtown Lincoln area. She gave each group $5 (in singles) and told them to make as much money as possible in 30 minutes. The winning group would split the winnings. This lesson proved to be a great kick-off for introducing the ExEC philosophy. 

      “One of the joys of this class is, it’s so interactive, there’s a lot of engagement.”

    Students returned to class filled with energy and excitement. One group took a temporary job to make money, while another sold shares in their future winnings. The creativity of the ideas combined with the feedback from her students made it obvious to Samantha that the kids loved the exercise.  Coverage of their experience on social media gained some great exposure on campus too. Word of the positive experience continued to spread, even reaching the Dean’s office.

    Similar to other entrepreneurship professors, Samantha wants her students to enjoy learning. She found that having a great rapport with her students starts with the material that lays a foundation for a solid experience and exchange of ideas.

    Pressure from Above

    “As an entrepreneurship professor, I strive to be the best and receive the highest evaluation scores from students,” Samantha shared. “Across the board, those of us who teach entrepreneurship are expected to have interactive, experiential classes. This creates a pressure to continuously find new and effective ways to do that in a way students enjoy but isn’t cumbersome for us as educators.”

    Additionally, professors feel added pressure from their institution to remain on the cutting edge of teaching methods. The unspoken thought being if the professor does not create an interactive class that elicits great feedback, they’re not teaching effectively.

    Ditch the Textbook: Start Engaging

    ExEC was designed to help you engage all of your students without requiring significant prep time.

    If you’re, like Dr. Fairclough, looking for a curriculum that

    • Engages every student
    • Provides structured, skill-building, real-world experiences
    • Has comprehensive support for easy adoption

    request a preview of our ExEC curriculum here.

    Teaching Entrepreneurship Lesson Plans

    Samantha Isn’t Alone! Read More Case Studies of ExEC Instructors

    Related Articles

    We’re committed to providing content that will help our community of entrepreneurship educators remain on the forefront of the field. Here is a list of some recent posts we think you’ll find valuable for your next class:

    • Textbooks Don’t Work. More and more professors are finding textbooks are not an effective way to teach entrepreneurship. Experiences are. Engage your students with the Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum.
    • Idea Generation vs. Problem Generation. Idea generation is one of the most difficult aspects of teaching entrepreneurship. We share an alternative to idea generation that will quickly help your students generate ideas.
    • How to Teach MVP’s. In this exercise, students will design their first MVP by identifying their riskiest business model assumption. They’ll then design the simplest experiment they can to test that riskiest assumption. 

    Ready to Take Student Engagement to the Next Level?

    We email new experiential entrepreneurship lesson plans regularly.

    Subscribe here to get our next lesson plan in your inbox!

    We engage students in practicing skills, actively. Class time should be spent learning by doing, with professors guiding students through an experience where they can see the material come to life in a way that is meaningful for them. We built that experience for you and for your students.

    Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum
    Engage Students This Spring

    Engage Students This Spring

    This spring you can have:

    • More engagement
    • More structure
    • More impact

    We practice what we preach, and apply entrepreneurial principles to how to teach entrepreneurship. The Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum (ExEC) combines all of the best practices of entrepreneurship education, and after just 2 years is now used at almost 100 universities!

    If you want more engagement, more structure, and more impact, now is your chance with ExEC!

    Universities using Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum

    Why People Love ExEC

    Each semester, our founders continuously interview faculty and staff to improve the user experience, and create more meaningful moments.

    Kim Pichot - Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum Professor

    One student of Kim Pichot, from Andrews University, shared:

    “This one is by far the best class I’ve ever taken at this University!”

    Maureen Cumpstone from Ursinus College said:

    “Students understood the focus on skill-building rather than going through the motions of creating something that we all know is pretend.”

    Students also share the impact of learning experientially:

    “This course teaches more practical skills which are not available in other courses during college.” – Student, Georgia State University

    “I enjoyed the interactive class. It gets everyone involved and awake and gets the juices flowing in your brain. Class was more enjoyable rather than something I had to attend.” – Student, Rowan University

    What’s New In ExEC?

    Faster Assessment

    We redesigned what students turn in, dramatically reducing assessment time, while keeping the curriculum robust and the grading transparent.

    Assessments used in Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum

    We also simplified and updated our rubrics, so you can more efficiently and effectively provide constructive feedback to your students.

    Updated rubrics in Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum

    Updated Modules

    The Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum has expanded to include the core topics that are essential to successful entrepreneurs:

    Idea Generation. This module helps students identify ideas they are uniquely qualified to pursue. The experience will teach students:

    • A repeatable process for generating business ideas.
    • Brainstorming problems to solve generates more good business ideas than brainstorming products to build.
    • Which customers they are uniquely suited to serve.
    • How to identify “backup ideas” if their primary business idea falters.

    Idea Generation Exercise in Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum

    Financial Projection Simulator. This module helps students determine if a business model will be financially sustainable. The experience will teach students how to:

    • Estimate costs for their venture.
    • Project their revenue from a “bottom-up” perspective.
    • Update their business model hypotheses to ensure they are on a path to achieve their business goals.

    Customer Interviewing. Our updated method of teaching customer interviews use’s ExEC Customer Interviewing Playing Cards with an online collaborative quiz game to show students:

    • What their problem interviewing goals should and should not be, and
    • What questions they should and should not ask

    Customer Interviewing Script used in Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum

    The curriculum now enables professors to easily shift from the ineffective sage-on-the-stage model of education to the guide-on-the-side model, because the real teacher with the ExEC curriculum is the students’ experience.

    AOM Review of ExEC!

    We were fortunate that two of our rock-star colleagues (Dr. Emma Fleck from Susquehanna University and Dr. Atul Teckchandani from California State University Fullerton) shared their thoughts about our curriculum in Academy of Management Learning & Education, the leading journal on the study of management learning and education.

    Learn more about our curriculum from this review in Academy of Management Learning & Education.

    Academy of Management Learning & Education review of Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum

    Improved LMS Integration

    For Fall 2019, we we updated our integration of ExEC with the four major learning management systems (LMS): Canvas, D2L, Moodle and Blackboard. This offers our professors the capability of uploading all our content neatly into their respective LMS, which greatly reduces the setup time, and provides a more comfortable learning process for the students.

    From hundreds of professor and student interviews, we built a brand new professor platform for our entrepreneurship curriculum. After a few well-managed hiccups rolled it out with overall great success.

    The ExEC experience contains over 30 detailed lesson plans, each containing seven core elements designed to enable easy navigation and execution for our professors:

    Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum Overview

    1. The lesson’s goals and objectives.
    2. A quick overview of where each lesson fits into the scheme of the overall curriculum.
    3. An engaging overview video explaining the lesson.
    4. Detailed Google Slides for classroom use.

    Video and slides in every lesson plan in the Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum

    1. Instructions to prepare before class, including all necessary resources.
    2. An exhaustive minute-by-minute outline for delivering the lesson.
    3. Instructions for what students could and should do after class.

    Lesson plan instructions in Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum

    From the first moment of planning a lesson to returning graded assignments, we frame the entire learning experience in detailed, practical terms that are mapped onto the Business Model Canvas to highlight what lessons are applicable for particular boxes on the Canvas.

    Award-Winning Curriculum!

    Our founding team are entrepreneurs. We’ve spent years interviewing entrepreneurship faculty and students. This combined knowledge led us to build a skill-based award-winning entrepreneurship curriculum that probes critical entrepreneurship topics in-depth.

    Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum wins first place at USASBE

    ExEC Online?

    We’ve had a ton of interest in using ExEC for online classes, so this semester we’ll be alpha testing a fully online-enabled version of ExEC.

    We have been hard at work creating engaging videos and online experiences for students, and will kick the tires on this new experience before rolling it out nationally in Fall 2020.

    In Spring 2020, our co-founders will teach the first fully online semester-long ExEC course at John Carroll University!
    Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum co-founders

    Engage Your Class

    We engage students in practicing skills, actively. Class time should be spent learning by doing, with professors guiding students through an experience where they can see the material come to life in a way that is meaningful for them. We built that experience for you and for your students.

    Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum professor Georgann Jouflas

    Georgann Jouflas wanted to teach her students to discover their passion and solve problems

    Her students needed to deeply engage with understanding the power of hidden assumptions, and how to prototype. She found her solution with ExEC!

     Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum

    ExEC provides the entire learning experience, giving students meaningful content and the tools to turn that content into action.

    Don’t worry about covering every topic in a particular niche of entrepreneurship hoping they will get it. Invite students into an experience that facilitates learning and understanding. They will thank you. However, we don’t expect you to take our word for it.

    Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum Chris Welter

    Dr. Chris Welter, who uses ExEC with undergrads and MBAs, says:

    “It’s the software I’ve been looking for for 3 or 4 years . . . I really appreciate the ability for students to get their hands dirty.”

    Try ExEC This Spring

    There’s a community of more than 70 entrepreneurial professors like you, and they’re using ExEC to bring entrepreneurship to life for their students.

    Request a preview of ExEC today and make this Spring the most engaging semester of entrepreneurship yet! Our curriculum is full of experiential exercises that will make your students’ learning come alive.

    Missed Our Recent Articles?

    Whether you are new to our community of entrepreneurship educators, or you’ve been contributing for years, we wanted to give you a list of the posts our community finds most valuable:

    • “The best class I’ve taken!”  We all want a Dead Poets Society moment in our entrepreneurship class. One professor using the Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum got hers!
    • Improving Student Idea Generation. Help students build ideas around the customers they are most passionate about helping, and the problems they are most excited to help them resolve.
    • Teachers Need Tools.  Our curriculum makes prepping your entrepreneurship classes a breeze, and makes teaching the classes a powerful experience for students.
    Differentiated Learning in Entrepreneurship

    Differentiated Learning in Entrepreneurship

    If your students are anxious about their grade, or about making appropriate progress in terms of learning and mindset, this lesson plan is for you.

    With this lesson plan, you will calm your students’ anxiety, and effectively prepare them for their final presentation.

    One of the biggest reasons students disengage in experiential entrepreneurship classes is that different teams progress at different speeds.

    • Teams who fall behind can get discouraged when the class progresses to topics that are not yet relevant to them.
    • Teams who quickly validate an assumption can get bored if the content of the class stalls their progress.

    One of the most successful remedies we’ve seen to this problem is to provide students with differentiated learning experiences, via individual team coaching sessions.

    Every coaching session should be a moment where students can measure the skills they’ve built so far in order to learn what to do next.

    What is a Coaching Stand-Up?

    First, what they are not:

    • They are not a formal presentation where everyone in the class is presenting the same material
    • They are not a graded performance based on the progress the team has made on their startup idea.

    A coaching stand-up is a graded performance based on the process the team has navigated for their startup idea.

    The best way to think about Coaching Stand-ups, is to imagine your class more like a startup accelerator, where you are managing a portfolio of companies. Regardless of where they are in the process, it’s your job to help each company take the next right step for them.

    With this perspective in mind, you see how Coaching Stand-Ups turn into:

    A chance for you to provide individualized feedback to student teams, specific to the challenges they are facing.

    Coaching Stand-Ups 101

    Coaching stand-ups should happen frequently during the course. There are two options for how to run a Coaching stand-up, or you can blend the two:

    • Student teams conduct a final presentation simulation in front of their peers
    • Student teams meet w/ the instructor one-on-one (either in class or outside of class)

    We found great success in conducting these Coaching Stand-Ups after students have gone through customer interviewing, problem validation, and begun their solution ideation.

    Let’s look at the pros and cons of each session so you can decide which best suits your class and students.

    Class presentation by students

    Coaching Through Simulation

    Coaching students through a presentation simulation provides the following benefits:

    • A more structured format can be helpful in preparing students for the final (graded) presentation.
    • The pressure of looking good in front of peers can motivate students to put together higher quality work.
    • Creates a classroom culture where peers are providing valuable feedback to one another.

    This strategy, however, does have its drawbacks. This approach can create an environment where teams are competing with one another rather than focusing on their own progress. Additionally, peers can get bored listening to other presentations and feel that the time would be better spent if they could work on their own projects.

    Team Private Coaching

    Alternatively, you can provide coaching by teams meeting with you, either during a class session or outside of class. Providing your students feedback using this method provides the following benefits:

    • The meetings can be more idiosyncratic, based on the needs of each team.
    • Teams are less likely to compare their progress to one another.
    • Instructors can be more candid and hands-on with each team.
    • Students appreciate the individualized instruction.
    • Teams who are not presenting can continue with their work.

    We recommend conducting private coaching stand-ups for the reasons stated above.

    Help Students Prepare For Coaching

    In preparation for a Coaching Stand-Up session, ask your students to prepare a presentation using the guidelines below.

    We strongly encourage you to give students autonomy and flexibility in how they prepare for these sessions to allow them to rise to the challenge or fail to do so, and learn how to do better in the future.

    Assessing a Stand-up

    Assessing a stand-up is based off the process the students are going through and how well they understand and reflect upon the process. It’s not about their progress and how far they have gone, but instead is about the questions they are raising and the reflection process. It is critical to make this clear to students ahead of time as the focus on process not progress will be new to many students.

    Prior to the Coaching Stand-Up, give students the following format to follow in their presentation, whether they will be in front of the class, or just with you. These meetings should last approximately 5 minutes for each team.

    Why We Call It a Stand-Up

    We refer to this as a stand-up because students should stand up during the entire meeting to keep it short and efficient, much like the daily stand-up approach to scrum meetings.

    Set the Context (30 seconds)

    Share what the team is trying to do. What challenge is the team trying to address?

    Previous Feedback & Actions Taken (1 minute)

    Summarize the team’s progress to-date. Encourage teams to start with what has gone well (i.e., the positive) before discussing the things that did not go as expected. Be sure to discuss any previous feedback they received from the instructor or other students, judges, or potential customers, and what actions have been taken to address this feedback.

    Discoveries (2 minutes each)

    Share the discoveries of any research/experiments conducted. Each experiment should be discussed separately, using the format below:

    1. What assumptions were we making that need to be validated?
    2. What experiment did we conduct? (e.g. customer interviews, publish the landing page, solution interviews, etc.)
    3. What have we discovered? Share the main lessons learned.
    4. Why this discovery important for our team? How does it change our Business Model Canvas?

    Students should also bring additional data and information to ensure they are prepared to answer questions that the instructor and/or audience might ask about their experiments and conclusions.

    Question (30 seconds)

    Conclude the presentation by sharing a question for the audience. The question should seek the audience’s input on the most important things that the team should work on next.

    Teams should not ask the audience a question that can be answered by saying yes or no (e.g., Is this product a good idea?).

    We want our students to move away from looking for a single right answer and instead have a mindset of continuously building, measuring and learning.

    As such, instructors should evaluate the students on the question they pose and their reflection process. If appropriate, the audience should share their thoughts on the question posed by the team. Then ask the presenters to share their thoughts on this question. Last, so you do not influence others, share your thoughts.

    If the Coaching Stand-Up is conducted in front of peers, encourage their peers to try to help the presenter by providing feedback.

    General Coaching Stand-Up Tips:

    Specify for your students whether all team members must present during a Coaching Stand-Up or if teams are free to choose which team members will present.

    Encourage students to explain things simply and clearly so that everyone will be able to understand it. Remind them of the Albert Einstein quote: “If you can’t explain it to a 6-year old, you don’t know it yourself.”

    You should document the feedback provided to each team so that changes between successive coaching stand-up sessions can be tracked. You can create a formalized feedback document to share with the students or to document the feedback for internal purposes only. A feedback template is provided in the lesson plan.

    The big challenge of a stand-up is that they can take too long. This is, again, why we make students stand up during the presentations. We recommend everything is strictly timed, which will help students communicate their ideas more efficiently and help ensure you are not spending too much time talking with individual teams.

    When to Run Coaching Stand-Ups

    • We found conducting stand-ups at the following points during the course are most effective:
    • Before customer interviews. Make sure their interviewing strategy is right and they are talking to the right customer.
    • During customer interviews. After the first round of customer interviews, check in to make sure students are on the right path.
    • After customer interviews. Make sure your students know how to analyze customer interviews.
    • Before running an experiment. Make sure the experiment will test what the students want to test.
    • After the first experiment. Help students understand how to analyze their results.

    Reducing Student Anxiety

    The type of individualized instruction you provide during a coaching stand-up reduces student anxiety. You are speaking directly to them, very clearly and succinctly, about a very specific task or skill, so students receive very clear feedback on a very specific point.

    Coaching Stand-Ups are one option to provide your students clear feedback as they progress through their learning journey. This lesson plan provides you one method to accomplish the following goals:

    • Move students away from searching for a single right answer and instead focus them on asking the right questions.
    • Encourage learning. Don’t focus on the grade.
    • Give guidance and feedback to help them prepare for the final presentation (e.g., what to change and where to focus on).

    teaching entrepreneurship

    Lecture Less & Coach More With the Experiential Entrepreneurship Curriculum

    Want to create the most engaging team experiences for your students? Check out the award-winning ExEC curriculum for your Spring courses.

    Or learn more about the methodology behind and exercises in our curriculum at the USASBE Conference in New Orleans in January (drinks are on us!)


    Request a preview of ExEC today and make this Spring the most engaging semester of entrepreneurship yet! Our curriculum is full of experiential exercises that will make your students’ learning come alive.


    Get the “How to Coach Your Students” Lesson Plan

    We’ve created a detailed “How to Coach Your Students” lesson plan. This exercise walks you, and your students, through the process, step-by-step.

    Get the Lesson Plan

     

    It’s free for any/all entrepreneurship teachers, so you’re welcome to share it.

     


    Get our Next Free Lesson Plan

    We email new experiential entrepreneurship lesson plans regularly.

    Subscribe here to get our next lesson plan in your inbox!

    Join 8,000+ instructors and get new lesson plans via email!


    Missed Our Recent Articles?

    Whether you are new to our community of entrepreneurship educators, or you’ve been contributing for years, we wanted to give you a list of the posts our community finds most valuable: